On April 16, 2019, Attorney General William Barr stripped away the right to bond hearings for asylum seekers who have established that they have a credible fear of persecution or harm. With this decision, this administration has made clear that if it cannot slam the door on all asylum seekers, it will do everything in its power to lock them up indefinitely.  This is yet another step in the systematic dismantling of the asylum process and of the human rights of those who seek refuge on our shores. Effectively, this decision means that all asylum seekers will be subject to mandatory and indefinite detention, a clear and egregious violation of fundamental human rights. The decision, Matter of M-S-, overturned a 2005 George W. Bush era case finding in favor of a right to a bond hearing.

“This decision is another devastating, unnecessary, and indefensible attack on asylum seekers,” says Laura St. John, Florence Project Legal Director. “The Florence Project has been advocating for the rights of asylum seekers and immigrants for 30 years, and we have seen time and again the detrimental impacts detention has on immigrants both psychologically and on their ability to get a fair day in court. We will continue to advocate fiercely for our clients and for alternatives to detention for all immigrants.”

This news is heartbreaking and demoralizing, but we will continue to stand with our clients in the face of these obstacles. This announcement is another in a series that underscores the importance of our work in these challenging times. Your support makes our work possible. Thank you for standing with us as we continue to fight for hope, freedom, and justice.